My Losing Season by Pat Conroy:
Auburn. It sounded so Big Time to a boy like me. “Good luck against Auburn, Pat,” my mother had said on the phone, and just hearing her invoke the great name made me feel the weight of my own self-worth. I thought the entire universe would be watching me and my teammates take on the War Eagles that day in 1966. Auburn was in the Southeastern Conference, one of the proudest and showiest in the country, and recruited big-name athletes for a big-time program. I loved it whenever little Citadel invoked the myth and story of Goliath and scheduled us to play the great schools. Whenever people ask me about the teams I played against in college, I always say, “Florida State, Auburn, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Clemson.” Never do I reply with “Erskine, Wofford, Newberry, and Presbyterian,” who were the patsies and sacrificial lambs of our schedule.